Friday, July 11, 2014

Fig and Pear Arugula Salad

Biting into a ripe fig topped with goat cheese and sipping a glass of chilled, crisp white wine is a slice of heaven for me. 

Last year, I wrote a post of my camping experience at a organic bio-abundant farm in northern California. One of the best parts of the trip was lying down in a field of arugula under an orchard of fig trees. The spicy peppery smell of the arugula filled my nose and softened the ground while I looked through the fig trees to the sky. It felt magical and the magic was more than a wonderful sensory experience. The arugula planted on the floor of the fig grove helps to keep moisture in the soil, creating a symbiotic eco system. 

Seeing figs back in season reminded me of this experience and inspired me to change up an arugula salad recipe that I've been making for a few years by adding figs.  I served this new version to a appreciative audience at a recent picnic and it was given a thumbs up!  So here it is!  Enjoy! 

Serves 3-4

4 whole Meyer lemons or Limes juiced
2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
1/3 cup Olive oil
¼ Tsp Real salt
Freshly ground black pepper

6 oz washed arugula leaves
1 small pear, cut into shavings with a peeler or cut into chunks
3-4 fresh figs cubed
½ cup raw pecan pieces or chopped raw almonds
2 oz goat cheese

In large bowl, gently toss the salad ingredients with enough dressing to generously coat.

Arugula is in the same family as kale, mustard greens and cauliflower so think detoxification.  It also helps with hormone balancing, has anti-cancer properties, and is a great source of folate.

 Once figs have ripened on the tree, they are very delicate and difficult to transport and are often found unripe at the grocery store.  It's best to get them from a farmers market to ensure that they have not been picked too soon and to get them at their sweetest! Figs come in many varieties and are available to us fresh mid June through October.  Dried figs or frozen figs will work in this salad too.